To think about sight as a gift that should not be taken for granted
by The Revd Sophie Jelley
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To think about sight as a gift that should not be taken for granted.
Preparation and materials
- You will need: one full toilet roll (concealed in a bag), a coat to act as a cloak, a chair.
- Familiarize yourself with the story of Bartimaeus (Mark 10.46-52).
- Find out sensitively whether there are any children with visual impairments and adjust the assembly accordingly.
When you know that it has been snowing in the night – who rushes to the window first thing in the morning to have a look? Isn’t it great to see a white world? Or when it’s been raining for days and then you wake up to a sunny morning… Explain that today we are thinking about ‘seeing’. Ask the youngest children what we use for seeing.
Say to the children: Think for a moment about the things you most like to see with your eyes. When you have thought of something, instead of putting your hand up, be as quiet as a mouse and place your hand in a catching position (demonstrate). If you don’t want to be chosen please put your hands in your lap. When I throw this toilet roll at you I want you to try to catch it. Don’t worry if you don’t manage to catch it, just try. Then quickly stand up and tell us in a big voice what you most like to see. (Do this as long as you choose.)
I am going to tell you about something that happened to a man in the Bible when he met Jesus. Can I have a volunteer to be the man? I need someone noisy!
The first thing we need to do is to cover up your eyes, because this man could not see. (Wrap toilet roll around their eyes like a bandage.) His name was Bartimaeus (get the children to say the name back to you). Bartimaeus lived in a place called Jericho (you could explain the reference from the Old Testament to Joshua and the battle of Jericho).
Bartimaeus had heard that Jesus and his friends were visiting the town, but he couldn’t see him, so he sat in his usual place with his cloak around him (place coat on volunteer). He held out his begging bowl, and shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Ask the children to shout this phrase once.) But he didn’t say it just once, he kept on repeating it (ask the volunteer to shout this out several times).
Finally Jesus heard him, and he came and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Bartimaeus said, ‘Teacher, I want to see.’ (Ask the volunteer to shout this out.)
Straight away, Bartimaeus could see (unwrap eyes) and he got up and went with Jesus. Blind Bartimaeus wasn’t blind any more. He got up and followed Jesus.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for Bartimaeus to see things for the very first time? How do we use our eyes? We can use them to see what we can do for others. We can use them to see God’s world and to praise him for his creation. We can use them in lots of ways – are we using them as God wants us to, or are we blind to things we don’t want to see, such as ignoring the fact that other people in the world don’t have as much as we do?
Time for reflection
Ask the children to close their eyes and imagine a dark world with no trees or flowers, sunshine or snow to look at. Spend a few moments thinking about the wonderful gift of sight.
(Ask the children to repeat each line after you.)
Thank you that I can see.
Help me to use my eyes
to look for good things,
people I can help,
things I can share,
and always to be thankful.
‘He gave me eyes’ (Come and Praise, 18)